EDISON, NJ-Edison Mayor Tom Lankey released the following statement on Friday afternoon regarding the murder of George Floyd also policing in Edison:
“These are painful and tough times. The murder of George Floyd even more exposed the deep departments that still exist in our nation and has revealed us all how much more work requirements to be done to root out racism in our neighborhoods. The law enforcement officer accountable for this godawful occasion have been rightfully charged and will deal with the effects for this horrific criminal offense, but that does not begin to put an end to the discomfort felt by so many across our country.
As mayor, and as a person who cares for those around me, I understand that the very best thing I can do at this moment is listen. There are numerous people in this country that have actually been affected by the evils of racism long prior to the tragic events in Minneapolis and they are using this spotlight to inform their story. It is up to me, and to everybody, to listen to these experiences and utilize this moment in history to effectuate long-lasting meaningful change in our society.
I have also received emails requesting brand-new regulations for our cops in Edison. I will say, unequivocally, that I stand with the fantastic males and females of the Edison Police Department. We have actually taken terrific strides in concentrating on infusing our department with a variety that shows our really diverse neighborhood. We have all strove to keep open dialogues with all of our neighborhood leaders and, as an outcome, we have terrific working relationships and terrific friendships with these leaders and within the various communities throughout our town.
We take excellent pride in our department and the guys and ladies who vowed an oath to protect our streets and areas. Homeowner security is our task 24/7 and we have actually constantly made that our top priority. Our officers are amongst the best trained in the state, with several training sessions throughout the year as mandated through the New Jersey Attorney General's Office and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office. We are constantly analyzing finest practices adopted by other firms and our existing regulations have even been backed by the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police.
The training undertaken by each and every member of the Edison Police Department is substantial and effective in teaching our officers about neighborhood policing, combating versus racism, bias management, variety in policing and proper usage of force techniques. We also executed making use of body-worn cameras a few years ago to not only provide a record of each encounter between police and the general public, however likewise to assist continue to develop trust in between cops and those they have actually testified safeguard. This body-worn video camera footage is examined by supervisors and is likewise used as an extra training tool for our officers.
These are truly tough times and we are all experiencing them together. My workplace has an incredible working partnership with our police, our fire and all of the First Responders serving our community on the front lines. Over the last couple of months we have actually all seen what happens when we interact, battling against the deadly COVID-19. Through social distancing and staying at home where possible and usually keeping an eye out for each other we have been able to save many lives.
But the opponent we are challenging now is vastly different. Hundreds of years of racism can not be erased over night however the peaceful demonstrations, the frank conversations happening and the voices sobbing out for modification are assisting to start to open lines of communication. I know that for me, it has actually given me a lot to think about and the conversation has actually only just begun.”